Ever Been to a Runway Fashion Show?
I get excited when I see things out in the world that show the women's apparel market might be getting more inclusive. This means more of us will be able to find clothes that fit, and that's awesome. I've been writing about new brands to love and exciting things we're doing in the WeFitMe community in my newsletter, but then I thought, why not write about them here? So here we go - there's lots to update you on!
Did you know that this is "Fashion Month"? It's when all of the "Fashion Week" events happen in the global fashion centers like New York, Milan and London. The fashion show calendar is always ahead of when items show up in stores. Even though it's barely Spring, they're showing Fall 2017 looks right now. It's been cool to see the number of non-standard models and designs on the runways. From designs for the disabled, to top-billing for plus-size models, 2017's fashion month is showcasing more diversity. And that's exciting!
You know what else is exciting? Our WeFitMe-Shop Your Shape meetup had our own fashion show adventure, so let's talk about that catwalk, shall we?
Shop Your Shape Meetup at the Fade to Light Multidimensional Fashion Show
Part of what WeFitMe is about is making fashion more accessible and eliminating the barrier between us as shoppers and the elitist fashion industry. Fashion shows can be pretty intimidating if you're not one of the cool kids. Most women think they'll be looked down upon or booed away from the front door because they aren't designers and don't look like models. You know what I think? Who says we're not cool enough to go to a fashion show? And really, we're the ones who shop for clothes, so why wouldn't we be as important as anyone else there?
So we took our group of Shape Sisters to the Fade to Light show in Portland, Oregon last week. It was the first fashion show experience for several of us and we had a great time! We saw elegant evening gowns from Andres Pinedo, modern streetwear from Portland designer Moore (with an emphasis on androgynous looks), an edgy showing of leather accessories from Colty, gorgeous darker looks from Ohlendorf Atelier, and much more. Kudos to Colty, in particular, who made a notable decision to show diverse models. Overall, it was a spectacle: the lights, the music, the make-up, and of course the awesome people-watching made for a memorable night. And I'm sure it won't be so daunting for the first-timers with us to go to the next one. Mission accomplished. You should really come next time.
We now have over 60 Shape Sisters in Portland and over 30 in Seattle - See more photos of our previous events and join us in Portland or in Seattle on our next fashion adventure.
CHECK THIS OUT
In my "Check this Out" section, I write little snippets about things I've noticed as I study the women's apparel biz. I look at things from a customer point of view because that's what I know best. There is always a lot happening and I want to tell you about notable things that will help us out, rile us up and give us hope!
1. Stitch Fix just added 90 brands of plus-size clothing to its service. You know Stitch Fix, right? It's the styling service that sends you a curated box of clothes based on an extensive survey, their matching algorithm and a human stylist. Until now, they've only served straight sizes. But now they're finally adding extended sizes. Confirming what we know about the lack of extended size clothing options, Stitch Fix had to work directly with several of the clothing brands to create completely new garments for the service. At the time of launch, Stitch Fix has 75,000 women signed up to try it! This is a big deal because not only will more women be able to use the styling service, Stitch Fix's plus-size customer demand may give brands the confidence they need to commit long-term to the extended size market. Fear and inexperience keep many brands from entering the plus size market, even though there is no denying it is a real opportunity. Now Stitch Fix's stylists will be able to test the product on their customers and give feedback to the brands about what's working and what their customers want. Hooray!! Have you tried Stitch Fix? What was it like?
2. There's a brand called Exclusively Kristen that specializes in clothing for busty women! I love seeing new brands pop up to serve real customers, with real clothing fit challenges, and this is a common one. With sizes going from 8-18, they recognize that having big boobs doesn't necessarily mean you are big all over. Hooray! They sell primarily online, but are carried in Portland at The Pencil Test on NE Alberta St.
3. A women's blazer with truly functional pockets? Yes please!!! I have begged every fashion designer I've met for a chic and practical women's blazer to wear at conferences. I tell them I want "The Conference Blazer" (I've already named it!). My dream blazer would be high quality and have pockets deep enough to carry a phone, business cards, keys and maybe a lipstick so I don't have to drag a purse around. Wouldn't that be great? Only my denim jacket has these features, but it's not always appropriate for business, so I was thrilled to see the blazers by newcomer, ARGENT. These tailored blazers have a "media pocket" for a phone and stylus. This is what happens when non-fashion designers design: they design products to solve real problems. Because who needs a blazer with fake pockets?!? The ARGENT prices are definitely "investment grade", but I'm happy they exist at all. Maybe other brands will get the hint.
That's all for now, Shape Sisters! Don't forget to watch the fashion Olympics that is the Oscars' red carpet tonight ;-) .